My list of little travel joys

My list of little travel joys

Sometimes travel is frustrating: you’re out of your comfort zone, you don’t understand the language, your train is running late, you’re ridiculously tired and all you want is to be curled up in the comfort of home. That, or a really good cry and a chocolate bar.


But other times, travel (and life) is ridiculously amazing. Too often, we focus on the bad and forget about the little good things that keep us going. But it’s Friday, I’ve spent the past week catching up with good friends from all over the world and I’m feeling so blessed I could skip. So here are my little travel joys, the things that bring a smile to my face and a feeling of total, utter happiness with life. Feel free to add your own at the end. Cheers, and have an amazing weekend!

  • When you arrive just as your subway/train/bus is pulling up. Ahh, perfect timing.


  • Showing a best friend your favorite city, and having him fall in love with it as much as you are. Total confidence booster that not only do you love cool cities, but that you must be a pretty awesome tour guide.
  • Street performers that are really talented/engaging/enthusiastic about what they’re doing.
  • Stumbling across a perfect park, a bench in the sun, a hidden courtyard just when your feet feel like they’re about to fall off.
  • Youth or student discounts for musuems/attractions/movie theatres–particularly if the discount ends up making it free. Thank you, Europe, for acknowledging that I’m broke and still letting me learn something.


  • Couples in love, newborn babies, adorable toddlers speaking in a foreign language and realizing that bliss is the same everywhere in the world.
  • When you have the wrong time in mind, but you somehow make it right on time. Extra points if it’s for meeting someone, and you would have looked ridiculous if you were late.


  • Funny street names. The fact that Paris named a street after a grammarian completely made my day.
  • Making it out of the hostel room the first time without forgetting the room key, an umbrella, lip balm, iPod, book, cardigan, scarf…and anything else I might have forgotten.
  • An abundance of plugs. Whether on a train or in a hostel room, there’s nothing better than a fully-charged computer/iPod/iPhone/camera to start my day.


  • Bright colors, perfect contrasts, a photo opportunity set up right in front of your face.
  • When you realize that the best things in life aren’t things.


  • Hi Christine, thanks for a great post to remind us all what’s so great about travel and well, life in general! Sometimes we all need a little reminder! =)

  • Great list. It is always a good thing to think of the thanksful bits of life and travel.

    I like the one about an abundance of plugs. I got stuck in a Greek bus station with very little money and no ATM and it was so nice to find a power outlet to charge my phone and talk to my girlfriend to calm down. πŸ™‚

  • Eurotrip Tips

    I love cheery posts like these. I find that with time, people tend to forget about the litle things that matter the most, that beautiful window or the laughing kid. We get so deep down in our own heads that we forget to look at things with new eyes.

    One other thing that I like while travelling: being asked for directions. Is there anything more satisfying than being mistaken for a local?

  • Anonymous

    Great list! I often say it’s the little things that make me happy and it is. When things go right, it just puts me in such a great mood.

  • Anonymous

    Love this Christine. Great post. I would add:

    – Free, fast and reliable WiFi.

    – The thrill of making new travel plans

  • Awww I loved this! So simple, and yet so powerful. You could get anyone to fall in love with travel! I love your sense of romance and adventure.

  • Joya

    This is a great post! My travel joy is being able to sit down on a bench and take in the view wherever I am and saying “I can’t believe I’m here.”

  • Anonymous

    Exactly! Plugs let us keep in touch with the world. While it’s sometimes nice to zone out, other times you need a bit of home!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! Whenever I have a good little moment like these, I like to focus on it so that I can remember it next time things don’t go as well πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Exactly! It’s remarkable how much an on-time train can make my day and a late one can ruin it!

  • Anonymous

    YES! My favorite was one morning in Nice where I was asked for directions two different times in French, and I was actually able to respond in French and point people in the right direction. Such a great feeling!!!

  • Anonymous

    Good wifi is definitely very high up there on the list–and the feeling right after you buy a plane ticket! Good additions πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Thanks lady! I’m just riding a wave of good travel vibes at the moment πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Ohhh, I love that one too! I could spend all afternoon people watching in a new city.

  • Love this list. Just the other night I saw a man in his 40s escorting his frail mother, arm in arm, down the street in Bangkok. That brought a little travel joy to me πŸ™‚

  • Aww, what a great list! It really made me smile.

  • Anonymous

    So sweet! I love seeing old people in general–especially really old couples still in love!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! Even re-reading it makes me smile πŸ™‚

  • This is about the loveliest blog post I have read in quite some time! I love the reminders of why travel is brilliant. Reminds me of how much I love sitting in the sunshine reading a book, or seeing old people hold hands πŸ™‚

  • Risamay

    I like your list. And – zomg – that door looks familiar!


    In the Marais, right? Near the Metro St. Paul?

  • Anonymous

    Haha yup! Paris is a small world in photos πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    I think any time the sun is shining, that’s automatically one of my little travel joys! Extra points for just the right amount of breeze πŸ™‚

  • Angie_Cro

    catching up…
    loved the post!
    also, haven’t seen if anyone already mentioned… I love pretending to be a local and running to catch a metro ..not under any other circumstances would I do that πŸ˜€ But I LOVE how they always hurry somewhere and run even though there’s a metro each 2-3 minutes… :))

  • Anonymous

    I do love pretending to be a local on public transportation! Read my book, stick in my iPod and just pretend like nothing special is going on πŸ™‚

  • Robin @ My Melange

    One of mine is language related. When I can have even a little exhange with a local in their native language – I get such a charge out of that. Such a feeling of accomplishment πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    I also like it when people speak to me in the native language instead of English! One of my favorite moments in Spain was when the cashier spoke in English to both the girls before and after me, but spoke in Spanish with me–even though I couldn’t understand a word! I think it was thanks to my tan, but I’ll take it!

  • Anne

    My travel joy now , is knowing that I can ask for something in French πŸ™‚ even on the train .. I am not brilliant but .. so different to a year ago:-)

    Hi Robin , yes I agree, a feeling of accomplishment πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Confidence is key–and you gain confidence by practicing! I’ve got French down, but I’d love to be able to communicate basic phrases in Spanish or Italian! Some day πŸ™‚

  • all i can say is, whenever I have a qualm with SNCF, I got straight to those vending machines. GOTTA have my bueno bars

  • Anonymous

    Mmm I do love Bueno bars at the train station!

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  • Such a unique post. Love this Christine. I have so many I could list. I love seeing people walking around with a travel guidebook. I typically don’t anymore, but I love seeing travelers studying a map or a guidebook, as they decide where to go next.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a really unique travel joy–I haven’t heard that one before! I love it when I see people try to be super sneaky about their maps and pretend like they’re not actually looking at it while hiding in a doorway…or wait, is that just what I do? πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing!

  • I have to vote for parks. When I travel, I love the outdoors and finding a great outdoor place in a city or just a quiet place to get away and enjoy natural beauty is awesome!

  • That is a great list πŸ™‚ I totally agree…and have to add finding a super cute little cafe hidden somewhere with great food and mis-matched furniture πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    I do love cities with great parks! I think Stockholm is one of my favorite parks city–I could have spent all day just soaking up the natural beauty and people watching!

  • Anonymous

    Aw, I do love that. I just found a cute cafe and cake shop in St Kilda with tons of vintage magazines–so much fun to get a coffee and read a Vogue from 1973!

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